It is happened to all of us at one time or another. You just met someone, he or she finds out that you work with computers, and those feared words come out, “Oh, you work with computers. Maybe you can help me.”
Many times you would like to help, but you do not want to sit down and work on computers for free in your off time. You are happy to offer advice, but please do not ask me to sit down and look at a computer!
Sure, there are exceptions such as parents and other family members, very close friends, bosses, and high-value clients. I am not talking about the exceptions, I am talking about those folks that cross the line and want you to help them install software or configure a new mouse or some other piece of hardware.
Here are some possible responses when people ask you to work on their computer.
“You’re asking me to work overtime, to do work on my own time without getting paid, which takes me away from my personal time. How would you feel if someone were to ask you to do that?”
“Sure, I will be glad to help you. My rate is $150 per hour.”
“Have you tried searching (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) on that message?”
Never leave your important friends, family members, colleagues, and clients in the lurch. If you are not willing to work on their computers, be prepared to refer them to a technician who will.